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Croatia and Cruising the Dalmatian Coast!

Experience the richness of Natural as well as Historical Beauty!

Since its war of independence in late 1990, Croatia located in the Balkans has become Europe’s one of the top destinations. The medieval cities and historic ruins, similar to most countries of Europe along with stunning natural attractions such as the Plitvice Lakes and spectacular Adriatic coastlines and islands make Croatia stand out. Dubrovnik is among the most visited place in Croatia and other attractions such as Split which is 1,700 years old. In the mainland are other attractions such as Zagreb full of neoclassical buildings and opportunities for hiking in the Krka National Park. We bring you some of the best places to visit in Croatia.

1. Zagreb

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This vibrant metropolis is also a capital city of the country which is packed with historic as well as modern attractions. The present-day sprawling cosmopolitan city dates back to the 11th century which was established by Hungarian King Ladislaus. It is also a heart of Croatian culture, academics, and government. The city is divided into Upper and Lower Town, former of which is full of old, medieval churches and towers which can be visited by a walk down cobblestone streets.

2. Pula

This is a popular destination located on the tip of the Istria peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. It has been attracting tourists from the Roman times when people used to flock the amphitheater to watch the gladiators fight. Pula is best known for its wealth of Roman ruins and mix of cultures used to be ruled by various government powers which currently belongs to Croatia.

3. Rovinj

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This is an archipelago of 20 islands located on Croatia’s Istrian peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The old town of this is set on a small peninsula which is a sightseeing adventure with cobblestone, arches, stairways and other interesting architecture.St. Euphemia’s Basilica, a church that houses stunning artworks, seven medieval city gates, and the 12th-century town clock forms some of the historic gems. Carrera Street with its many shops and art galleries, Grisia Street lined with artists and souvenir shops and the scenic harbor are also worth seeing.

4. Krka National Park

This is spectacular natural scenery, with wildlife and historic sites is a protected area located in Central Dalmatia of Croatia. Known for gushing waterfalls, blue-green waters and natural pools of clear, this national park is situated along the Krka River within Sibenik-Knin County. There are well-maintained walkways and boat excursions for getting around and the park is easily reachable from Split. Most of these trails lead to waterfalls some of which plunge into natural pools, which are great for a swim.

5. Zadar

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Beautiful coastline, rich in history this is a three thousand year old that draws thousands of tourists. This ideal tourist getaway is, located on Croatia’s northern Dalmatian Coast offering plenty of places to see. It is also known to have a lesser crowd than other popular destinations in Croatia. Some fantastic sightseeing attractions in the old town include medieval architecture, numerous old churches, and Roman ruins. There is a string of beautiful beaches right beside the old town of Zadar where tourists can sunbathe, swim and relax.

6. Split

This is the second-largest city of Croatia also nicknamed as “Mediterranean Flower”. The main attractions of this city situated on a peninsula off the Dalmatian Coast include beautiful Gothic and Renaissance architecture. The crown jewel of these architectures is Diocletian’s Palace. Maze of marble walkways and buildings containing shops, cafes, and bars inside the Roman Emperor palace complex built in between 298 and 305 AD, makes it look more like a small city in itself. You will find plenty of things to do outside the historic center such as shopping at the lively Green Market, strolling along the seaside promenade, swimming at Bacvice beach.

7. Dubrovnik

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This is among the most prominent places to visit in the Mediterranean nicknamed as “Pearl of the Adriatic”. This town located off the Adriatic Sea, it was established on the maritime trade in the 7th century. Dubrovnik offers many sightseeing treasures, the old town of which features old, defensive walls, magnificent palaces, cobblestone streets, and stunning churches along with houses sitting in contrast to the blue sky and orange rooftop. Popular beaches like Banje and Lapad are right outside of the old town, while you can enjoy more beaches on the nearby island of Lokrum.

8. Korcula

This is famous for being the birthplace of the famous merchant traveler, Marco Polo. Korcula is composed of lush green forests, vineyards, sandy beaches, olive groves, and charming villages. It is about 50km off Croatia’s Adriatic Coast. Korcula is a historic walled town with colorful markets, plenty of tourist facilities, and Venetian Renaissance architecture which is indeed the main town of the island.

9. Plitvice National Park

Consisting of several breathtaking lakes, Plitvice National Park is among the most beautiful natural wonders in Croatia and even the whole of Europe. The highlight of the national park is 16 interconnecting lakes which range in distinct colors from turquoise to blue, green and gray. They are formed by natural travertine dams and are divided into upper and lower clusters. Lakes can be explored by walking or even boating in the surrounding areas, there are wooden walkways that are assorted around for this reason.

10. Hvar

This is located off the Dalmatian Coast and is one of the most popular places to visit in Croatia in the Adriatic sea. Lavender fields, lush vineyards, favored for its landscapes of spectacular beaches, are the things that make up this beautiful town. The walls of the 13th-century, Gothic palaces, marble stone streets, stunning churches and an imposing old fortress are attractive features of the town. Alongside these the natural beauty of Hvar also offers many outdoor recreation and activities such as hiking in the cliffs, swimming in the isolated lagoons and beaches.

Cruising the Dalmatian Coast!

Ten cruise lines offer Dalmatian Coast cruise itineraries in specific, they are usually the small ships. Eastern Mediterranean sailings are about another 12 (of different sizes) that go to many other places as well. Crystal, Azamara, Grand Circle, Ponant, Vantage, Sea Cloud, Star Clippers, and Variety Cruises all sail itineraries that begin or end in Italy. They stop at several ports, in Croatia, Montenegro, up and down the Dalmatian coastline. MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America, Oceania, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Viking Ocean, Windstar Royal Caribbean and Voyages to Antiquity offer Eastern Mediterranean cruises. They stop along with the ports of the Dalmatian Coast, primarily Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Kotor (Montenegro).

Most important places that you shall be visiting while cruising along this coast shall include Dubrovnik, Kotor, Koper, Split, Rovinj, Zadar and Sibenik.

The best time for a Dalmatian Coast Cruise

May to September is the time the itineraries that stick primarily to the Dalmatian Coast of the Adriatic sea set a sail. Whereas the Eastern Mediterranean cruise season usually runs from May to late October or early November. You can choose May, June, September, and, when available, October for a lesser crowd and comfortable temperatures. July and August will receive the crowds from cities like Venice and Dubrovnik and also the weather can get quite hot.

Tips for Cruising along the Dalmatian Coast

  • CarryKuna currency since Croatia is not yet on the euro. Small shops and many restaurants will not accept Euros.
  • You may not find any source of shade on city walks especially if you are visiting the region in May through September, Dalmatian coast can get pretty hot. Carry a hat to protect yourself from the harsh sun and carry plenty of water.
  • Do taste the local specialties made from ingredients such as truffle oils, figs, capers, and lavender. All the Mediterranean cuisine is steeped in rich culinary traditions with a scent and taste of olive and such ingredients.
  • Tendering is an important element of cruising along this coastline. Most of the ports along the Dalmatian Coast require tendering, including Dubrovnik which has only one dock for a small- to mid-sized ship. This creates mobility issues for passengers. Especially ships visiting on the same day will have to tender passengers back and forth while the ship remains anchored.

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